“Palm Royale” (R) ★★★ TV Series Apple TV+

The comedy-drama series “Palm Royale” is steaming now on Apple TV, and it’s a total blast to view. The year is 1969; Kristen Wiig stars as Maxine Simmons Delacorte an outsider and former pageant queen to the high-society ladies of Palm Beach. She desperately wants to be accepted into the exclusive country club, the Palm Royale. Though she has neither an invitation nor the funds to cover the $30,000 initiation fee, she scales the brick barrier wall, and the series begins. 

The head of the ‘insiders’ ladies’ group is Norma Delacorte, played by the iconic actress Carol Burnett. Incidentally, the last time we viewed Burnett on TV was in 2022, in the hit series “Better Call Saul.” Allison Janney plays Evelyn Rollins, along with Bruce Dern and his real-life daughter Laura Dern, lovingly portray father and daughter. The almost unrecognizable brown-haired actress Leslie Bibb, who’s usually a blonde plays the ding-bat character of Dinah Donahue, who marries older wealthy men for their money and engages in side-affairs. And let’s not leave out the ‘pool boy—waiter,’ the one and only Ricky Martin, Robert, as he’s in on everyone’s secrets.  

Each episode is full of non-stop laughs and awkward and cringe-worthy dialogue. You can’t help but root for Maxine as Kristen Wiig steals the show and keeps it going until the very end. Despite her simple-minded pilot husband, Douglas, played by Josh Lucas, she has mastered the art of womanhood, using misogyny and the patriarchy for her gains. Regardless of her naïveté, her thirst for a lavish life continues to drive Maxine even in the face of secrets, blackmail, and a car crash. Amid the meanies and the continual dishonor, she plots her way inside Palm Beach’s inner circle on a quest to host the end-of-season Beach Ball, Norma’s self-appointed annual extravaganza. 

The show’s creator is Abe Sylvia, who is known for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye Baker” and “Dead to Me.” The series is based on the book Mr. & Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel.

The Bottom Line: I’m in. Yes, the script is all over the place and, at times, very unrealistic, yet Kristen Wiig carries the show from start to finish. Carol Burnett is also a joy to watch. I’ve seen all 10 episodes; there’s a new one each Wednesday. I had so much fun viewing it and recommend watching it on Apple TV. 

Sarah Knight Adamson© April 21, 2024

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